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Open 6 days (closed Tuesdays). Weekdays: 10am to 4pm. Weekends: 10am to 5pm. Elsewhere at SAM café: 8am to 4pm.

Let’s Talk Art Returns in 2006

The Let’s Talk Art lecture series will return to the Shepparton Art Gallery on Thursday 16 February with photographer Donna Bailey as guest speaker.

Ms Bailey is one of the finalists of the 2003 Leica/CCP Documentary Photography Award, currently showing at the gallery until 19 February, and will be speaking on the topic ‘Documenting the Young Subject’.

After beginning a Bachelor of Arts degree at La Trobe University in Bendigo, Ms Bailey found that she disliked the subjects and searched for other challenges. She began experimenting with a large format camera that she borrowed from the university and took a few shots of her children in and around her 1.2 hectare property at Kangaroo Flat.

These early experiments developed into an ongoing series on Bailey’s children and their friends at home. The recurring backdrop for her documentary style photographs has become her semi-rural backyard, populated by a constantly evolving young cast.

Bailey views the process of taking the photographs as a collaboration between herself and her young subjects and it is this relationship and the photographic process that she will discuss in her lecture.

The cost of the lecture is a gold coin donation and bookings can be made through the Shepparton Art Gallery on 5832 9861.



After School Clay Modelling at the Gallery

Kids, get your art smocks ready!

From Tuesday 31 January the Shepparton Art Gallery will be offering after school clay modelling classes for children aged eight to 12 years.

Students will learn how to model three dimensional objects in clay and particularly how to do the tricky stuff like making the legs stay on the creature they’ve made!

Shepparton Art Gallery Acting Education Officer Angie Russi says that the fun program will also see students experimenting with ceramic construction techniques used to make hollow forms.

“Creations can be coloured, glazed and fired and ready to take home at the end of the program,” says Ms Russi.

All materials are provided but children are to bring their own art smock.

The program will run from 4.00pm to 5.00pm on Tuesdays for six weeks, commencing 31 January and concluding 7 March. The cost of the program is $46 or $40 for Friends of the Shepparton Art Gallery.

Bookings are essential as there are limited places. Payment must be made in advance and no refund will be given on short notice cancellations.

For more information on After School Clay Modelling contact the gallery on 5832 9861.

Ever Wanted to be a ‘Cultural Ambassador’?

Well now’s your chance!

The Shepparton Art Gallery is conducting a Volunteer Guide Course from 1 February 2006 in the lead up to the International Ceramic Award Exhibition on 24 February.

Gallery Curator Kirsten Lacy says that volunteers will be trained in public presentation techniques and will build a working knowledge of the gallery collection, with particular attention paid to the ceramic collection.

“Volunteer guides will then have the opportunity to practice their skills and meet artists and visitors at the International Ceramic Award Exhibition,” says Ms Lacy.

“Research methods and practice will be introduced with participation in gallery life encouraged and nurtured,” adds Ms Lacy.

The course is free and interested participants should contact the gallery on 5832 9861.

Think Tank

An exhibition of paintings by local artist Tank has opened at the Shepparton Art Gallery.

Opened last Friday at the Shepparton Art Gallery is an exhibition of oil paintings several years in the making by local artist Tank. Tank is well celebrated in Shepparton for his artwork on several of the cows in the MooovingArt Parade, in addition to his paintings decorating the walls of the Yahoo Bar. THINK TANK is the artist’s inaugural solo exhibition and defines him as a rising talent in the region.

Tank is an artist that finds humor in the harsher ironies of life. For some people the vision of a lone baby, sitting in waist high water, holding onto to a live electric current that could become submerged at any time, is a vision of pure horror. This isn’t so for Tank. With a kind of perpetual hindsight, Tank is able to step back and find amusement in the strange and awkward situations in which his characters find themselves.

His paintings have a science-fiction, comic book style, where dangerous situations and futuristic landscapes become metaphors for other aspects of life, such as loneliness, abandonment, thwarted hopes or unanswered prayers. His images are sometimes captioned with statements creating a play on words. An example of this is the painting The Organ Grinder and his Monkey which does not depict a man and his monkey operating the musical instrument in the street as was common before the advent of radio, but a metal meat grinder, grinding ‘organs’. In Tank’s picture it is the grinding machine which seems to control and own the monkey, depicted as a small man.

The title of the exhibition is itself a play on words. Kirsten Lacy, curator at the Shepparton Art Gallery says the title acts as a self instruction to the artist to ‘think’ and also a noun in the sense that we are entering a Think Tank of sorts when we enter this exhibition.

“In this way the title reflects that Tank wants people to engage with his work, to contemplate how his stories might unravel and to use them as a kind of flexible metonym for own lives,” says Ms Lacy.

Think Tank continues until 12 February.

Leica/CCP Documentary Photography Award Opens at Shepparton Art Gallery

The 2003 Leica/CCP Documentary Photography Award, Australia’s most prestigious survey of contemporary documentary photography, has opened at the Shepparton Art Gallery.

Entries for the 2003 exhibition are a diverse and provocative mix, ranging from the political to the personal, the abstract to the intense. The works cover subjects as diverse as bushfires, teenage debutantes and hardware stores and range from presenting sobering issues of social realism, to a celebration of the quieter moments in life.

Running since 1997, the Leica/CCP exhibition represents a unique initiative in the support of documentary photography. The works provide a fascinating entry point into the variety of approaches and concerns which characterise documentary practice today. Finalists are selected by a panel of distinguished judges, including Radio National Art Critic Bruce James who said of the exhibition:

“Without documentary photography, photography itself is diminished. It is the conscience of the medium. At a time when technical manipulation and theoretical mediation exert a powerful influence in photography, that some photographers continue to bear witness to the world around them, undistracted by the endless possibilities for distraction in 21st century life and culture, is something to celebrate.”

Monash student Domenico Cozzolino was announced as the 2003 winner for his series Arcadia Del Sud: West Heidelberg, Melbourne, Australia, Circa 1966. This work is a digital reworking of a series of shots taken by Cozzolino as a teenager in the mid to late 1960s, showing his parents basking in their new-found economic freedom as ‘New Australians’ in the land he has called ‘Arcadia of the South’. These images show his parents in their recently purchased brick veneer home in the Victorian Housing Commission estate of West Heidelberg. They are proud of their garden, chooks and of the ‘new’ second-hand Austin Freeway in the drive. On the surface a picture of suburban simplicity and innocence, the photos also hint at the loneliness and cultural isolation his parents faced as first generation migrants.

Friends of the Shepparton Art Gallery Coffee Morning

The guest speaker for February will be Ray Sizer. Ray is a multi award winning documentary photographer and works for the Shepparton News. We are all familiar with Ray’s extraordinary ability to capture ‘the moment’ – a picture that tells a thousand words. On Wednesday 1 February at 10.00am Ray Sizer will talk about his

professional practice and the techniques used in the Leica Award exhibits. All welcome.

LET’S TALK ART: La Trobe University Lecture Series

On 16 February at 5.30pm 2003 Leica Finalist Donna Bailey will present a lecture titled ‘Documenting the subject’.

Bailey, now a PhD candidate in the La Trobe University Visual Arts Department, initially experimented using a large format camera that she borrowed from the University. She began by taking a few shots of her children in and around her 1.2 hectare property in Kangaroo Flat, near Bendigo. These early experiments developed into an ongoing series on Bailey’s children and their friends at home. The recurring backdrop for her documentary style photographs has become her semi-rural backyard, populated by a constantly evolving young cast.

COST: Gold coin donation     BOOKINGS: ph 5832 9861

Murray River International Music Festival

The Murray River International Music Festival will be held in many towns and communities along the Murray and its tributaries during January and February 2006.

The festival brings together the highest calibre of overseas and Australian musicians in a varied program including jazz, opera, percussion and classical piano.

The Shepparton part of the program will be presented from 9 February to 12 February and offers outstanding Australian and overseas musicians and highlights a range of music styles. 

Manager of Performing Arts Rob Robson says that the Greater Shepparton City Council is presenting the local concerts as part of its Riverlinks program.

“We have deliberately kept ticket prices very low to encourage people to attend as many of the concerts as possible,” says Mr Robson.

Shepparton highlights will include a very funny production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘HMS PINAFORE’, a concert featuring Beethoven’s piano concertos played on the Shepparton Steinway by internationally renowned pianist Anthony Halliday, soprano Louisa
Hunter-Bradley and organist David Macfarlane in a concert at Wesley Church, an evening of ‘Tango Fever’ featuring international accordion player Mirko Satto and Tango dancers Adrienne and Andrew Gill and finally, a delightful Sunday afternoon concert with Italian classical guitarist Massimo Scattolin.

The festival is the inspired initiative of brothers Sergio and Stefano de Pieri.

As a regular visitor to Australia over many years, Sergio imagined an event along the rivers dedicated to this unique region. Stefano has for some time been a prominent ambassador for the Murray River system through his passion for fine food and wine, his advocacy for debate over environmental issues and his patronage of all things cultural.

The concern of these two driven achievers for one of Australia’s greatest water catchments, and their complementary interests in food and music, has inspired the creation of this great event, which has the potential to grow and become one of Australia’s great festivals. 

The festival is supported by sponsors Tourism Victoria, The Murray Campaign Committee, Tasco Inland, Hertz, Mildura Grand Hotel, Mildura Brewery and Mildura Arts Centre, Telstra Country Wide, Stefano de Pieri and Regional Express and is supported in Shepparton by the Greater Shepparton City Council through its Riverlinks program. 

Following are the details of the MRIMF events being staged in Shepparton. 

All booking inquiries can be directed to Riverlinks Box Office on 03 5832 9511.

Thursday 9 February 2006  2.00pm EASTBANK

Starring the hilarious Brian Hannan and a cast of just five this is a rollicking and very funny rendition of this G&S favourite. They “did” Mikado and “Pirates” and after this (and “Opera in the Orchards” for the SheppARTon Festival) they aren’t doing it anymore! Don’t miss “the final sail!    

Friday 10 February 2006  8.00pm EASTBANK

Critically acclaimed pianist, Anthony Halliday, has given recitals throughout Australia and in Europe. In this recital he focuses exclusively on Beethoven’s Sonatas.  

Saturday 11 February 2006  4.00pm    WESLEY CHURCH

Louisa Hunter-Bradley has extensive performance experience with Australian performance groups including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and at notable festivals in Australia and Europe. David Macfarlane has performed throughout Australia, as soloist and continuo player on organ and harpsichord. He will play the wonderful Wesley organ in this concert.

Saturday 11 February 2006  8.00pm    EASTBANK

Mirko Satto studied accordion at the Steffani Conservatorium of Castelfranco, Veneto in Italy. He has performed as a soloist, in duo and with chamber and orchestral groups throughout Italy and Europe. Adrienne and Andrew Gill, professional Argentine tango teachers and performers, are recognized internationally for the artistry and romance of their tango. 
(Presented in a cabaret setting, food and wine available to purchase from Eastbankfood)

Sunday 12 February 2006  3.00pm  EASTBANK

Massimo Scattolin began his concert career as a soloist and later took up chamber music. He has performed original compositions by Violet Archer and Astor Piazzolla and has developed a reputation in Europe and the United States as a brilliant executor of his art.